Whitehead’s Diamond Jubilee Wood to get new ‘friends’

The Whitehead wood was one of 60 across the UK established to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.'Picture By: Arthur Allison.
The Whitehead wood was one of 60 across the UK established to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.'Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Volunteers are sought as part of a management plan for Diamond Jubilee Wood in Whitehead.

It’s almost seven years since members of the public gathered together to plant the wood and five years since the Community Orchard was created.

Jim Kitchen, who is helping spearhead the Friends of the Diamond Jubilee Wood initiative in conjunction with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, explained the need for support at the woodland which contains 60,000 trees, a 2km path network, a pond, wildflower meadows and picnic area.

Jim said: “The trees are beginning to change the character of what used to be little more than a few fields of rough grazing. While many of the trees, such as the oaks, are still little more than saplings, species like the alders and birch trees are now quite sizeable. Meanwhile, the orchard has produced several bountiful harvests of apples and currants.

“However, this valuable community asset is beginning to need some regular care. The council has commissioned a management plan for the Jubilee Wood, with roles for its own parks team but also for those of us who live in this community and use the wood most often. That’s why we’ve decided to establish the Friends of the Diamond Jubilee Wood.”

Such groups are already undertaking activities in other areas, including Bashfordsland Wood in Carrickfergus. Volunteers have removed invasive plants, helped to clean up ponds and planted wildflower areas

“It’s intended to get a programme underway early in 2019 but the first step is to assess the likely level of involvement,” Jim added.

To express an interest in becoming a Friend of Diamond Jubilee Wood, email: jimwkitchen@me.com